This month, we build an affordable AMD-based gaming rig to find out just how good (or bad) a CPU/GPU combo can be
The Mission We've put together some spendy systems recently. Hey, there’s a reason this mag is called Maximum PC. However, it’s caused a few readers to wonder if we drive gold-plated Humvees to work. As if! We have chauffeurs for that kind of thing. The fact is, we like the challenge of building to a rig’s optimum potential, at any price. So this month, we turn the tables and go full-on budget build.
Note: This article was originally featured in the October 2013 issue of the magazine.
AMD originally hoped to launch its 3rd Generation A-Series APUs known as "Kaveri" sometime this year with at least one roadmap indicating an early fourth quarter release. Technically, Kaveri may still launch in 2013, though reportedly it will only end up in the hands of OEMs late this year, followed by a retail launch in 2014. In the meantime, it looks like AMD will flesh out its Richland desktop line with a couple of new processors.
It's kind of ironic that AMD once pooh-pooh'd the whole MHz/GHz craze back when Intel was kicking tail with its Netburst architecture, because these days, the Sunnyvale chip designer is making headlines based on clockspeed. If you recall, AMD was quick to point out that its FX-9590 Piledrive part qualified as the world's first commercially available 5GHz processor (Turbo speed). Now just a couple of weeks later, an overclocker just set a record with AMD's A10 6800K processor.
Even the most diehard fan boy can admit AMD’s not in the hunt against Intel’s top-end processors—well the reasonable one’s anyway.
That doesn’t mean AMD still can’t give Intel a hard time. While AMD can’t compete with the Core i7-3970X or even the Core i7—4770K, the company’s rush to merge CPU and GPU to make the APU has put more pressure on Intel than Intel would probably want to admit.
One part Piledriver and one part Radeon HD 8000 Series graphics.
System builders have no shortage of new processors to choose from this week. Counter-punching the launch of Haswell, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) on Wednesday rolled out the red carpet for its 2013 Elite A-Series of Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), otherwise known as "Richland," which supposedly offer discrete-level graphics and an easy upgrade infrastructure.
The rapid shift to mobile seems to have caught x86 chip makers off guard, but on the bright side for Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), this tectonic shift in technology represents a new opportunity to perhaps do things differently than before. Maybe the outcome will be different, maybe not, but either way, we have an early look at AMD's agenda for the changing market place, and it starts with "Temash."
Richand comes at just the right time for mobile users.
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) today announced the availability of its new Elite A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs), otherwise known as "Richland." The new APUs not only offer faster graphics performance and longer battery life via enhanced power management capabilities all on a single chip, they also deliver user experiences like facial log-in and gesture recognition, AMD says.